University social responsibility

As a leading Polish economic university, SGH Warsaw School of Economics attaches great importance to social responsibility and sustainable development. The SGH Rector has repeatedly emphasised that CSR issues are crucial and he views them as a priority.

CSR is becoming an extremely important area for the SGH community, both in educational and scholarly activities as well as in social life. Our commitment in these areas goes hand in hand with efforts to ensure responsible operation of SGH as an enterprise.

The growing interest in CSR among employees and students stems from the growing awareness of contemporary challenges and, on the other hand, it is a response to the proactive attitude demonstrated by the Rector and the SGH authorities in this respect. What deserves particular attention is the activity of the Rector’s Social Responsibility Committee as well as the fact that the Rector identified the sustainable development strategy as one of the key cross-cutting strategies for implementation alongside SGH’s main strategy. Strategic activities are aimed at incorporating CSR in our teaching mission, scholarly activities as well as outreach activities to support the local community and solve global problems, including environmental ones.

SGH supports the sustainable development of society and the economy and, as a socially responsible university, it initiates activities that contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular:

  • SDG 4: Quality Education
  • SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
  • SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • SDG 10: Reduced inequalities
  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals
The SGH rector’s social responsibility committee

The SGH rector’s social responsibility committee was established by force of the Rector’s decision in March 2017 as our university’s response to the growing role of CSR and sustainable development in tertiary education. The Committee is composed of representatives of five colleges, students (incl. doctoral students) as well as key organisational units of our university. The Committee works for the benefit of the entire SGH community as well as its stakeholders. The Committee is responsible for coordinating the implementation of university social responsibility, including the preparation of relevant reports.

Key tasks of the committee:

  • Developing and implementing the social responsibility strategy of SGH,
  • Initiating and coordinating activities in the field of social responsibility at SGH,
  • Preparing SGH’s social reports.

At present, the committee members include:

  • Halina Brdulak, Ph.D., SGH Professor - Chair
  • Aleksandra Stanek-Kowalczyk, Ph.D. - Deputy Chair
  • Piotr Ciżkowicz, Ph.D., SGH Professor
  • Agnieszka Domańska, Ph.D., SGH Professor
  • Agata Lulewicz-Sas, Ph.D., SGH Professor
  • Mikołaj Pindelski, Ph.D., SGH Professor
  • Joanna Żukowska, Ph.D., SGH Professor
  • Marcin Dąbrowski, Ph.D.
  • Jacek Lewicki, Ph.D.
  • Maria Roszkowska-Menkes, Ph.D.
  • Justyna Szumniak-Samolej, Ph.D.
  • Grażyna Brodowicz, M.A.
  • Justyna Kozera, M.A.
  • Tomasz Misiak, M.A.
  • Kamil Flig, M.A.
  • Wojciech Godlewski
  • Piotr Glen, M.A. - Secretary of the SGH rector’s social responsibility committee
SGH social responsibility strategy

The Rector’s Committee for Social Responsibility at SGH has developed a key document that regulates and organises SGH’s activities in the area of sustainable development: the Social Responsibility Strategy of the SGH Warsaw School of Economics. This is one of the key cross-cutting strategies, scheduled for implementation together with our 2022–2032 Development Strategy, with the former strictly drawing on the guidelines contained in the latter.

The activities outlined in the Social Responsibility Strategy are aimed at incorporating CSR rules to the fullest possible extent into our teaching mission, academic activity, as well as into social undertakings that support both the local community and efforts to solve global problems, notably environmental ones. The adoption of the Strategy reflects the crucial importance of sustainable development and the application of the highest standards of social responsibility in all areas of SGH’s operations and development: science, teaching, community relations and university management.

SGH social responsibility declaration

In November 2017, at the building of the Ministry of Development (currently: the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy), during a conference entitled “Social responsibility of science: Challenges for academia and business,” 23 higher education institutions signed the University Social Responsibility Declaration. Among them was the SGH Warsaw School of Economics. At present, the Declaration has already been signed by 60 Polish HEIs.

The Declaration focuses on four areas of university life, such as the nurturing of academic values, implementation of programmes, practical projects and research studies that are relevant for the development of social responsibility, organisation of university work and cooperation with stakeholders. The authors of the document attached great importance to the mission, i.e. shaping pro-social and civic attitudes among the country’s future elites that will be instrumental in community building and nurturing social sensitivity. The authors stressed the need to disseminate the ideas of tolerance, equality and diversity, as well as to respect and protect human rights within the entire academic community.

The University Social Responsibility Declaration was drafted by a task force for CSR education and popularisation within the Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility Group, an auxiliary body affiliated at the Minister of Development (currently: Minister of Development Funds and Regional Policy).

The document represents a voluntary commitment of higher education institutions to promote the ideas of sustainable development and social responsibility in educational programmes, academic research, as well as university management and organisation. It aims to build broad public awareness of the role of HEIs in creating conditions for sustainable socio-economic development in the country.

The Declaration emphasises the role of universities in knowledge creation and transfer, the need to nurture academic values and shape social and civic attitudes among future elites, as well as social sensitivity and work culture. It also recognises the importance of ethical rules and the need to promote the ideas of equality, diversity, tolerance and respect for and protection of human rights throughout the entire academic community and beyond. The Declaration also draws attention to the partnership between science and business as a foundation for innovation.

Diversity charter

On 6 March 2020, SGH joined the ranks of the Diversity Charter signatories. This international initiative seeks to promote diversity and equal opportunities in employment regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, disability or religion.

Respect, one of the key values of the SGH Employee Code of Ethics, is understood as friendly, dignified and equal treatment coupled with observance of confidentiality. By joining the group of over 270 signatories of the Diversity Charter, SGH has confirmed that it recognises the value of diversity for organisations and wants to co-create a community of organisations committed to greater social change.

On 6 March 2020, the Diversity Charter was signed on behalf of SGH authorities by Prof. Piotr Wachowiak, then Vice Rector for Science and Management. This important event had a symbolic significance, emphasising that SGH pays special attention to values associated with respect for a diverse and multicultural society. Our university is committed to the highest standards of equal treatment and dissemination of these principles among all stakeholders.

The Diversity Charter in Poland is coordinated by the Responsible Business Forum. Notably, SGH signed a cooperation agreement with this major Polish NGO in 2020 during the CSR Fair. The agreement concerns the implementation of joint research studies, projects, publications and educational initiatives related to the promotion of sustainable development.

Participatory budget

For several years now, SGH has operated a participatory budget which has been used to implement a number of environment protection and sustainable development initiatives. A participatory budget is a co-management (participatory management) mechanism that involves a wide range of stakeholders in decisions on how to allocate a specific portion of budget at an institution or organisation.

Based on ideas and suggestions submitted by our staff and students, we have successfully implemented a number of initiatives, such as the revitalisation of beautiful Rector’s Gardens, the creation of an apiary on the Library roof and a flower meadow on the site of the former F Building, as well as a composter for biodegradable waste and nesting boxes for birds. In addition, an air quality sensor has been installed at the rear of the Main Building.

The idea behind each participatory budget edition is to collect bottom-up ideas and initiatives, and then to conduct voting among members of a particular section of the academic community. This is a way to identify investments which are seen as a priority by our employees and students. We endeavour to finance many of the submitted initiatives, prioritising those with the strongest voter support which fall within the year’s budget. The ideas submitted by staff members mainly focus on improvements to working conditions, professional development, as well as improvements campus infrastructure. The student-voted budget, on the other hand, focuses on green innovations. However, it is important to note that “green ideas” are also very popular among the proposals submitted by SGH staff. Each year, the participatory budgeting campaign engages a significant proportion of employees in the decision-making regarding SGH’s expenditure.


The SGH Warsaw School of Economics runs a very active Volunteer Centre, where students can get more information about this type of activity and find a suitable volunteer placement in one of the NGOs that have signed a cooperation agreement with SGH.

The Volunteer Centre seeks to facilitate and streamline the selection of specific volunteer activities and contact with the relevant organisation. The initiative promotes volunteering among students and also creates an opportunity for them to develop various competences desired by employers. The SGH Volunteer Centre is supervised by the Career and Alumni Centre, which supports students of our university in self-discovery and competence development to help them in charting their own career path.

Piotr Glen
Rector’s Office
al. Niepodległości 162
02-554 Warszawa
building G: room. 148